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    Perceptual competition between targets and distractors determines working memory access and produces intrusion errors in RSVP tasks

    Zivony, Alon and Eimer, Martin (2020) Perceptual competition between targets and distractors determines working memory access and produces intrusion errors in RSVP tasks. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance , ISSN 0096-1523. (In Press)

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    Abstract

    When a target and a distractor that share the same response dimension appear in rapid succession, participants often erroneously report the distractor instead of the target. Using behavioral and electrophysiological measures, we examined whether these intrusion errors occur because the target is often not encoded in working memory (WM) or are generated at later post-encoding stages. In four experiments, participants either provided two guesses about the target’s identity, or had to select the target among items that did not include the potential intruder. Results showed that the target did not gain access to WM on a substantial number of trials where the distractor was encoded. This was also confirmed with an electrophysiological marker of WM storage (CDA component). These findings are inconsistent with post-encoding accounts of distractor intrusions, which postulate that competitive interactions within WM impair awareness of the target, the precision of target representations, or result in the target being dropped from WM. They show instead that target-distractor competition already operates at earlier perceptual stages, and reduces the likelihood that the target gains access to WM. We provide a theoretical framework to explain these findings and how they challenge contemporary models of temporal attention.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: ©American Psychological Association 2020. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at the DOI cited above.
    School: School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Martin Eimer
    Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2020 09:50
    Last Modified: 07 Sep 2020 07:23
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/32734

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